Experts in Japan have devised a simple way to glean more detailed information out of standard medical imaging scans. A research team made up of atomic physicists and nuclear medicine experts at the University of Tokyo and the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS) has designed a timer that can enable positron emission tomography (PET) scanners to detect the oxygen concentration of tissues throughout patients’ bodies. This upgrade to PET scanners may lead to a future of better cancer treatment by quickly identifying parts of tumors with more aggressive cell growth.
“Patients’ experience in this future PET scan will be the same as now. Medical teams’ experience of conducting the scan will also be the same, just with more useful information at the end,” said nuclear medicine physician Dr. Miwako Takahashi from the NIRS, a co-author of the research publication in Communication Physics.